Sunak and Starmer, two British economists, have a heated debate on the economy

LONDON, UK (Reuters) – Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and Labour’s Keir starmer faced off on Tuesday to discuss how to boost Britain’s economy. The PM accused the opposition of wanting to raise taxes if they win power in the July 4th election.

Sunak, the Conservative, and Starmer, a Labour candidate, both stuck to their respective campaign lines during their first debate. Just weeks before a general elections, opinion polls indicate that Labour will win. Sunak said only he could spur Britain’s pathetic economic growth, while Starmer accused the Conservatives of presiding over fourteen years of economic chaos.

In a heated discussion – one of the most recent in Britain, and a debate that has seen more voters tuning into politics – the two leaders fought over how to combat the rising cost of living crisis, the growing waiting list in the public healthcare service and the reduction in immigration.

The majority of questions reflected the concerns that many voters have: the cost of living crisis, where some people struggle to pay household bills; long waiting times for health services and lower standards within the education system.

Their answers revealed little new, but an immediate opinion poll conducted after the debate indicated that Sunak won.

Sunak’s closing remarks said: “Keir starmer wants you to give him a blank check, but he hasn’t told you what he will buy or how much he is going to charge you.” In uncertain times, we cannot afford a prime minister who is uncertain.

Starmer replied that he would not make “the gimmicks and unfunded promises” as Rishi Sunak did.

He said: “Imagine what you’d feel on July 5, if the Conservatives had ruled for five years, causing division and decline, while the arsonists returned the matches.”

Imagine a Labour Government that is ready to get down to business and turn the page. This election presents a clear choice: More chaos under the Conservatives, or the chance to rebuild Britain through a new Labour Party.

SUNAK ON ATTACK

Sunak reiterated the Conservatives’ line of attack that Labour has no plan to improve the country other than raising “everyone’s taxes by 2,000 pounds ($2,550).

Labour will increase your taxes, I promise you. It’s in their DNA. Sunak: “Labour will tax your work, car, pension and everything else.”

Starmer initially did not deny this charge, but later called it “nonsense”. Labour has said repeatedly that it will not increase income tax or National Insurance Social Security contributions if Labour wins power.

My dad was a toolmaker and my mother was a nurse. The Labour leader said to an audience member, who was struggling with her bills: “We didn’t have much money when I grew up.”

“I know how it feels to worry when the mailman brings a bill. What is it and will I be able pay it?” “I don’t believe the prime minister understands.”

Starmer accused the Conservative Party of presiding 14 years of chaos, and Sunak for his plans to introduce compulsory national service.

Prime Minister Cameron drew laughter and groans from the crowd when he blamed the National Health Service’s growing waiting list on strikes. He also said that the numbers are going down because they were higher before.

He seemed to gain some ground when he discussed how he intended to deal with immigration. He portrayed his plan to send asylum seekers illegally to Rwanda as an effective deterrent that the Labour Party lacked and said he would place the country’s safety above any foreign court.

Starmer also said that he had a plan for tackling immigration, a major concern of voters. He would even consider processing asylum requests in a foreign country, if it didn’t violate international law.

Sunak’s campaign, which has not yet reduced Labour’s 20-point lead in opinion polls was aggressive, saying that only his own party had a strategy, while voters didn’t know what Starmer would do if elected.

The leaders’ two-way debate takes place a day after Nigel Farage announced he would run in the elections. This was a blow to Sunak, as the Brexit campaigner is expected to take away the votes of many voters on the right.

Farage had said at an earlier launch of his campaign that he would be the thorn in both Labour and Conservatives’ sides.

“I won’t be afraid, despite everything that everyone says. Despite what they call me. They are so stupid, it only encourages you,” he said to dozens of his supporters in southeast England. “Send my to parliament so I can be a bloody inconvenience.”

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